Astronauts Converge on Karabakh for Space Conference

A schene from the astronauts' meeting with President Bako Sahakian

Artsakh plays host to first international conference dedicated to the late Neil Armstrong.

STEPANAKERT—Renowned astronauts from the US and Europe were among participants of an international conference, which kicked off Sunday in the capital of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and is dedicated to the late astronaut Neil Armstrong who died last month and was the first person to walk on the moon.

Participants of the conference, called “Man and the Space,” among them professor of the Institute of Astrophysics of Canary Islands and European Northern Observatory Gagik Israelyan, noted astronauts Charles Duke of the US and Claude Nicollier of Switzerland, on Sunday met with Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Bako Sahakian, reported the presidential press service.

Sahakian expressed his gratitude to the renowned scientists and astronauts for coming to Artsakh and participating in such an important event, which will contribute greatly to the development of science in the Republic.

The guests expressed their contentment with the fact that the first conference held in memory of the world-famous astronaut Neil Armstrong was being held in Artsakh.

Issues related to the development of sciences and organizing different international scientific events in Artsakh were also discussed.

Karabakh Acting Education and Science Minister Vladik Khachatryan was among officials who attended the meeting.

“The fact that the Armenian Highland is one of the oldest places on earth, studying the universe is clearly indicated by the ancient observatories that exist here. Space exploration developed significantly during the 20th century, and can be qualified as the golden era of astronomy in Armenia. We are also very proud of the fact that Artsakh-born scientists have had significant contribution in exploring space,” said Sahakian in a message addressed to the conference.

“Our country attaches a great importance to scientific events dedicated to space exploration, especially with the participation of well-known professionals. I am confident that the scientific conference “Man and Space” will succeed in realizing the set issues and will boost interest in exploring the universe in our republic,” added Sahakian.As lunar module pilot for Apollo 16 in 1972 Charles Duke became the tenth and youngest of the 12 people who have walked on the Moon. A resident of New Braunfels, Texas, he is currently chairman of the board of directors of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.

Claude Nicollier has flown on four Space Shuttle missions. His first spaceflight (STS-46) was in 1992, and his final spaceflight (STS-103) was in 1999. He took part in two servicing missions to the Hubble Space Telescope (called STS-61 and STS-103). During his final spaceflight he participated in a spacewalk, becoming the first European Space Agency astronaut to do so during a Space Shuttle mission.


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  1. Avery said:


    The leadership of the fake state of ‘Azerbaijan’ will have a collective aneurysm, followed by seizure.

  2. Medzkit said:

    Fantastic. Claude Nicollier, Swiss pilot and aeronautics specialist, is a good man. This will reput Artsakh on the map in Switzerland and Europe, even if it doesn’t make front page news.

  3. john said:

    The NKR government should spend their money exploring for oil in the Mardakert province which has oil deposits.

  4. Vahe Vanantyanz said:

    Dear sirs,
    I tried to find out about Gagik Israelyan on the internet with no eval.
    I would be greatful if you could mail me his email address to enable me to write to him
    Kind regards
    Vahe vanantyanz

  5. anna christina meys said:

    dear Vahé,
    very pleased to find you name here, hope you get this message.
    I do not know anything of Gagik Israelyan (Armenian?), but please contact me.
    Kind regareds
    Anna Christina from the Netherlands

Leave a Reply to Medzkit Cancel reply